Forthcoming: Foundations of language contact: A comparative survey

Francesca Di Garbo (ed), Eri Kashima (ed), Kaius Sinnemäki (ed)


This volume analyzes the social foundations of language contact from a typological perspective. The chapters describe 13 contact situations across the world, focusing on contact between pairs of communities that speak unrelated languages. Many of the situations concern current or recent contact, but some focus on historical contact.

The general introduction of the volume presents the wider context of the volume, its methodology, and discusses pertinent issues emerging in research on the social foundations of language contact, such as data sensitivity. The contact situations in the individual chapters are described with a unified methodology that probes language contact in six social domains, namely, trade, family and kin, local community, labour, knowledge, and social exchange. The individual chapters describe the sociolinguistic and sociohistorical aspects of the language contact situations, written by descriptive linguists, sociolinguists, or anthropologists who are specialists on the contact situations. Together, the chapters document the social foundations of contact in the selected multilingual situations, of which many involve minority languages, and provide a model for further research in this field.

The book is mainly intended for sociolinguists, experts on multilingualism, historical linguists, (linguistic) anthropologists, and typologists as well as researchers interested in language contact in general. Our hope is that this volume will foster more research on describing and reconstructing the sociolinguistic settings of contact situations, in collaboration with linguists, historians, anthropologists, and researchers in other related fields.



  • Exploring contact in Rangi- and Alagwa-speaking communities
    Hannah Gibson, Maarten Mous
  • The sociolinguistic history of Tjwao
    Admire Phiri, Anne-Marie Fehn
  • The effects of cross-border and internal contacts on the Maltese language
    From Sicilian and Italian to English
    Josef M. Brincat
  • Sibe and Uighur in north-western China
    Veronika Zikmundová
  • Nen and Idi of Southern New Guinea
    Eri Kashima, Dineke Shokkin
  • Burarra and Yolngu Matha of Arnhem Land (northern Australia)
    Jill Vaughan
  • Mawng and Kunbarlang of western Arnhem Land (Australia)
    Ruth Singer, Isabel O'Keeffe, Vanya (Ivan) Kapitonov
  • A history of contact between the Kwoma and Manambu
    Ross Bowden
  • The Alorese and the Adang in eastern Indonesia
    Yunus Sulistyono, Francesca Moro
  • Otomi and Spanish of Central Mexico
    Rosnataly Avelino-SIerra
  • Western Toba and Wichí Social Contact
    María Belén Carpio, Marcela Mendoza
  • Chipaya and Aymara
    Katja Hannß, Matthias Urban
  • Toba-Qom and Spanish contact in three (semi)urban communities of Argentina
    Cristina Messineo, Paola Cúneo, Augustina Paredes, Nicolás Brid, Ana Blanco
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June 7, 2024
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Di Garbo, Francesca, Kashima, Eri & Sinnemäki, Kaius (eds.). Forthcoming. Foundations of language contact: A comparative survey . (Contact and Multilingualism). Berlin: Language Science Press.


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